Yesterday I went to The London Book Fair. It was an interesting and exhausting day. These things always are, endlessly walking round in circles looking for a stand number that bares little or no resemblance to any of the stands nearby.
What did I take away from the day?
Dare to be different.
In a somewhat obscure way this advice did come from the Publisher I spoke to. But it was something I took from his negativity. He held Betsie Valentine in amongst the children’s books he publishes and said.. ”You see it’s the wrong size. It doesn’t fit with all the other books.” He then went on to say “…and when you open it up, it isn’t what you expected.” I listened patiently, because he was good enough to fit me in to his genuinely extremely busy day and I nodded my head accordingly. But my brain thinking.. and your point is?
So Betsie Valentine And The Honeybees isn’t the correct size. No-one expects a story book to be A4 in size. Because of it’s size people are expecting a picture book and what they get is a story with beautiful pictures.
I like that. It doesn’t conform. It stands out from the crowd of books on the shelf. When opened people do actually say “Wow.. I wasn’t expecting that.”
What could be better?